I'm at the end of my rope, so I'm going to ask here.
I recently upgraded (practically built) a computer. The only components I ended up keeping from my old system were the video card and the psu. Sadly, my hard drive started making loud rattling sounds after the upgrade, so I replaced it with an extra drive I had lying around and did a fresh install of Win 7 Pro 64-bit just to be safe.
I've had this build for less than a month, 20 days or so. Just a few days ago, I noticed a problem. I attempted to install the program Procaster (lets you stream video of your computer) and my computer very suddenly rebooted during the middle of the installation. No warning, just an instant reboot. Checking the system logs, I got a Critical Event 41, Kernel-Power and nothing else of note.
I tried again a few times, same thing. It seems to always occur when the program is "configuring the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 redistributable". I know this is a commonly used library in games, so I thought perhaps something with my DirectX installation had been corrupted. I attempted to re-install DirectX, but it crashed in the exact same way. Some games on Steam require you to configure/install DirectX before running for the first time, and any of those cause my computer to reboot in the exact same way as they attempt to install/configure DirectX.
I can play a game or do anything graphic card intensive that is likely utilizing DirectX just fine, so long as it doesn't attempt to install/modify it.
The really whacky thing is that I can install Procaster and DirectX just fine in Safe Mode. No complaints there at all. If I'm in regular windows, however, it totally dies.
At first I thought this might be a RAM problem. It seems strange that it would be, given that the crashes are extremely consistent. Other than these problems, I've had only one crash where my computer did the same style of reboot while Windows was shutting down. Given the consistency, I've assumed this was some sort of software problem.
I remember when I had the original, rattling hard drive, I was experiencing sudden restarts on attempting to install certain program just as my computer is doing now. Given its noisy nature, I chalked this up to a failing drive and didn't think much more of it. Since I'm seeing what is likely the exact same behavior here, I am starting to suspect this is a hardware problem again.
Here are the components.
RAM: KHX1333C7AD3K2 x 2 (total of 4 GB)
Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E LX
Processor: Intel Core i5-760
Graphics Card: XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB
PSU: Rosewill Green Series RG700-S12 700W
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (barely ever used)
I just checked the memory compatibility list on Asus's site, and the KHX1333C7AD3K2 is not listed. This certainly raises my suspicions, and I'm heavily considering RMA'ing the RAM just to be safe. I have yet to run Memtest, but if I can remember to, I'll do it tonight and let you guys know. Even if it passes Memtest, I'm still getting a little wary of this RAM. I did test each DIMM individually in different slots and always got the same behavior. Interestingly, if I placed the DIMM in the secondary RAM slot of the montherboard, the computer doesn't boot at all. Is that a thing with DDR3?
Edit: Ok, so I just had a few more crashes while doing nothing of interest. A few minutes after I had booted up, I was running firefox and pidgin and it rebooted. The most recent time, I got a BSOD with the following error.
"A clock interrupt was not received on a secondary processor within the allocated time interval."
Sooooo maybe it's the processor? Perhaps the motherboard? RAM doesn't seem like something that would cause an error like that.